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25 October 2003

Finding forgotten books

You can now find books at amazon.com by searching for any word inside them, not just author names and title keywords. This should help readers tracing dimly - but fondly - remembered books from childhood. Great for those times when you remember a character's name, or a phrase, or place, but not a title or author.

I wonder how many of BookSleuth's pleas for help I could now answer? Let me try one..

I'm looking for a picture/story book... I used to read it as a child about 20 years ago. It is a square book with a yellow cover and is a modern day version of Alice in Wonderland. A girl called Tuppence (with long blond hair) gets to a secret world through a magic cabinet. Once there she meets a man who looks like Stan Laurel wearing a long green coat and who keeps kippers and porridge in his pockets. She also meets some very big spiders.

Hmmm, a search on 'Tuppence and Magic Cabinet and Kippers' doesn't turn up anything promising. But Amazon has only (did I say only?) indexed 120,000 books so far, so some of the quirkier books might still be difficult to find.

It is already extremely useful for more academic research. I often remember, and want to get my hands on, essays I read at university but don't always remember what book or collection they're from. This allows me to search for an essay - e.g. Donna Harraway's Cyborg Manifesto - and find books on Amazon that reference it. Very handy.

Posted at 03:29 PM in Collecting | Permalink

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Comments

Now we can find all kinds of old books. This could be a good thing.

Posted by: dave at 17 Dec 2003 00:43:51

Please could you help me?
I've got a first edition by eve garnett called "is it well with the child?".Printed in 1938. Drawings by eve garnett.With an introduction by Marjorie Bowen and a foreword by
Walter de la mare.Published by Frederick Muller Ltd London.Although it is not in perfect condition,I have been trying to research the book but have had very little success in the resources i have tried.I therefore can only assume it is fairly rare.Any information would be greatly appreciated.
With thanks Daniel.

Posted by: Daniel Mcphee at 15 Jan 2004 17:14:15

I have no idea of its value - try the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America or ABEbooks (an 'online marketplace for secondhand, rare, and out-of-print books').

Posted by: Foe at 15 Jan 2004 18:44:22